Scoundrel by nature and master thief by trade, Mouse is the best there is. Sure, his methods may not make him many friends, but he works best alone anyway. And he has never failed a job.
But that could change.
When a stranger with a hefty bag of gold seduces him to take on a task, Mouse knows he'll regret it. The job? Free Lord Garron, the son of a powerful duke arrested on trumped up charges in a rival duchy. Mouse doesn't do rescue missions. He's no altruistic hero, and something about the job reeks. But he cannot turn his back on that much coin - enough to buy a king's pardon for the murder charge hanging over his head.
Getting Garron out of his tower prison is the easy part. Now, they must escape an army of guardsmen, a walled keep and a city on lockdown, and a ruthless mage using her power to track them. Making matters worse, Mouse is distracted by Garron's charm and unyielding integrity. Falling for a client can lead to mistakes. Falling for a nobleman can lead to disaster. But Mouse is unprepared for the dangers behind the plot to make Lord Garron disappear.
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I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is a high fantasy fan. Has all the elements I love about fantasy: intrigue, nobles, treachery, passion, sword play and action.
Overall, I think the character of Mouse is the best thing about this book. His character has layers that are steadily revealed as the book progresses--Mason Thomas has a deft touch and manages to avoid making Mouse a cliched hero/anti-hero. Very well-done in terms of characterization.
Joel has the immeasurable ability to immerse himself in the characters. He gave them life, passion, personality. He is an actor well schooled in his craft and it shows.
Mouse. Without question. I love this character. He is rough, sharp, lonely, afraid, yet so incredibly brave.
I am deeply biased in favor of fantasy books, but that also means I have higher standards when it comes to the books I review. If the book fails to meet the bars laid by my personal favorites I won't even bother reviewing them. This book is firmly ensconced on my Favorites List.
- SJ Himes "SJ Himes"